floral tributes at the gates of buckingham palace

Whether you are a true blue royalist or a dinky-die republican, you can't miss the longevity of Elizabeth II's reign - over 70 years on the throne and the second-longest reigning monarch in history.

royal tributes


It's fitting that so many people have laid floral tributes to the late Queen at the gates of Buckingham Palace (above), and her many other residences.


Elizabeth II loved plants and her gardens, as the landscaping at each Royal Palace shows; from wildflower meadows at Kensington Palace, and camellia shrubberies at Sandringham, to ferneries at Highgrove House, a large kitchen garden at Balmoral Castle, and masses of colourful bedding outside Buckingham Palace.

Royal Gardens - public

buckingham palace bedding plants

Buckingham Palace sits between the open green oases of Green Park and St James Park in London; and the public planted areas outside Buckingham Palace are always immaculately maintained by Royal Parks groundskeepers.

The displays are changed seasonally and provide a striking backdrop to thousands of tourist photos, as well as a colourful oasis in the centre of a busy city.


royal bedding


"Replanting of the beds in summer requires approximately 22,500 plants, including geraniums, spider plants, salvias and weeping figs. Scarlet geraniums are used to match the tunics of The Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace "

Read more about the nursery that produces all these plants; or reproduce your own salvia border at home:!


Royal Gardens - private


The Buckingham Palace private gardens cover 39 acres in the centre of London, and includes a 3.5 acre lake, wildlife refuges, bee hives, tennis courts, and a helipad. Unless you're one of the 7500 guests at the thrice-yearly summer garden parties, you won't usually get to see inside...

The private gardens boast azaleas, magnolias, cherry trees, and over 200 kinds of camellia; as well as a 150m-long herbaceous border of summer-flowering annual and perennials, changing every year but always including scented sweet peas.


Tree Planting


The gardens inside Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace also share between them the National Collection of Mulberry (Morus), a legacy of the historic silk industry. (The silkworm's favourite food is the leaves of a mulberry tree.). 

150 kinds of trees are grown there, including one planted for the birth of each of Queen Elizabeth's children.

The Queen planted several trees during official visits, including on her state tours of Australia. Like the river red gum  (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) in Perth's Kings Park Gardens; and the silvertop gum (Eucalyptus sieberi) and black sally gum (Eucalyptus stellulata) at Government House Canberra. 


Royal Horticultural Society

Queen Elizabeth at Chelsea Flower Show

As long-standing Patron of the UK's Royal Horticultural Society, the Queen always looked forward to their annual world-famous Chelsea Flower Show, held in midsummer.  


She passed on this love of gardening and nature to her son, Charles, who pioneered sustainable gardening at Highgrove House, using many environmental elements - even installing a sewage filter bed.


This has continued down the generations as Catherine Duchess of Cambridge co-designed a garden at Chelsea. Intended to encourage a love of nature into young hearts, it incorporated wildlife-friendly planting, a rustic tree house, and edible plants.


Royal Favourite Flowers

royal favourites

During Covid, the Chelsea Flower Show could not take place and was replaced by a 'virtual show'. Members of the Royal family shared their favourite plants over Twitter via @RoyalFamily.


The Queen's favourite was pure white lily of the valley (Convallaria) which featured in her coronation bouquet and Kate Middleton's wedding bouquet. It is a small, shade-loving, sweetly-scented flower that loves cool moist places. Lily of the valley grows from small bulbs which are usually available in autumn-winter for immediate planting.


King Charles II's favourites are tall blue delphiniums for their 'impeccable bearing' - though if your own garden is a little breezy you might want to stake them to achieve this ...

 "For me, the magnificent, gloriously apparelled delphinium, with its impeccable bearing and massed in platoons, holds pride of place in my botanical affections."

Princess Anne's favourite flowers are hellebores, also known as Christmas roses and Lenten roses, for the time of year they flower in their native environment

"Not only do they flower early but they keep flowering for two months, and they are often beautifully marked with endless variations".

Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex chose azaleas "so breathtaking at this time of year" (mid June when the Chelsea Flower Show takes place, early summer in the UK). Our Encore azaleas from Ozbreed flower twice a year, in spring and autumn - look out for the Autumn-names for this extra value. 


Royal-Named Flowers

royal floral namesakes

If you want to commemorate the Queen - or just find a ripper plant for your back yard - there are heaps with royal names. We've picked a few of our favourites! They don't all reference the British and Commonwealth royal family; some are named for the Dutch royal family as the Netherlands is a monarchy and a global producer of plants. 

These four azaleas will get your garden off to a great start - Autumn Royalty, Autumn Monarch, Autumn Princess, and Autumn Empress. They will all flower twice a year, in spring and again in autumn, and the compact evergreen bushes are covered in their large showy blooms.

They are all varieties in the Encore series which as well as having a really long flowering season, are heat tolerant, drought tolerant, sun tolerant, and perfect for the Australian climate.


royal floral namesakes

Anigozanthos Royal Cheer is a big bold-flowered variety of our native kangaroo paw, pairing scarlet and emerald to stunning effect.

Anthurium Amazing Queen is a vibrant showy plant for indoors or tropical shade gardens with bright flowers known for their long life.

Buckinghamia - our Aussie rainforest ivory curl tree - is not named after the royal palace (and its first owner the 1st Duke of Buckingham), but after Richard Plantagenet Campbell Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 3rd Duke of Buckingham. It's a beautiful and very eyecatching tree in full flower, buzzing with bees and covered in blossom.

Heuchera Palace Purple has richly coloured leaves like vintage wine, which stay that colour all year through winter cold and summer sun.


royal floral namesakes

Grevillea Royal Mantle is a cracker of a groundcover, each wine-red flower covered in bees from spring to autumn, and really valuable for bank-binding and erosion control. Royal Rambler is a close relative, less vigorous and smaller-spreading, ideal for suburban gardens rather than acreage.

Calathea Royal Standard is a beautiful prayer plant with large soft leaves painted in a watercolour of pinks and whites, framed in soft green. It likes a shady humid spot, and grows well indoors,

Buddleia Royal Red will provide a banquet for passing butterflies who love to feast on the intensely-magenta honey-scented flowers. Prune it hard back after flowering to encourage thick leafy growth.


Liriope Royal Purple has deeply-coloured flowers and is super-resilient and hard-working in almost any situation. It's a beaut groundcover for every garden.


We hope this has given you a glimpse into royal gardening, and some inspiration for making your garden a little more royal-feeling - because we all deserve to feel like a King or Queen!